Ephemeral remains of Stephen Coles.
Writer, editor, typographer.
Oakland and Berlin.

Background image: BonBon Kakku
Title typeface: Times New Roman

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Posts tagged Berlin

Chromeography Exhibition: The Logo

Collaborating with Laura Serra on the exhibition logo was a delight. I tossed her a disparate pile of photos from the collection and (short of a few final touches) she came back with this.

She managed to balance the flowing style of her natural freehand lettering with the more mechanical nature of mid-century emblems cut from metal. It clearly references several decades of classic automotive brightwork without leaning too heavily on any one example or era. The allusions are obvious yet the mark is completely original. This thing really could exist on a car or refrigerator made anytime between 1930 and 1965.

Two objects — one for the title wall (on Laura’s Bel Air silhouette) and one for the window — were milled with a slightly angled bevel and sprayed with a chromesque coating.

More photos of the show later, but for now it’s best seen in person.

Thanks to Rob Keller of Mota Italic for these photos.

Auto-Teile Mehringdamm, Golßener Straße in Berlin
Photos by Florian Hardwig

These ads for an auto parts shop are painted on the back of the graveyard wall in Golßener Straße, Berlin-Kreuzberg. There are two layers from different times…

Berlin, Germany
Pascal Duez

That mark above the ‘u’ is not an umlaut (ü). As Florian Hardwig explains:

The bar or hook is a “courtesy mark” (as Ken Barber calls it) a courtesy to the reader to emphasize that this is a ‘u’ and not an ‘n’. I use the tag “u distinguisher”.

The u hook was a common means in German handwriting and was indispensable with the zigzag style of Kurrentschrift. It has survived in some more contemporary (script) lettering styles.

Related and confusing: the habit of putting a (straight) bar on the ‘n’, to denote a double ‘n’.

(via fleurs-coiffeur-liqueur)

How effective is your city’s public transit? Above are the estimated distances one can travel on bus, tram, or subway within 45 minutes from comparable residential neighborhoods* in LA, San Francisco, New York, and Berlin. Maximum walking time to/from stations and stops is set at 15 minutes, and estimates are for weekday travel. The data comes from the wonderful Mapnificent which includes many more cities and some other slick features I encourage you to try for yourself.

*Perhaps I’m being unfair to LA because I’m less familiar with it. If there’s a neighborhood other than Los Feliz that is more like the others in terms of relative rent, safety, livability, etc., please comment below. But, from my trials, the transit accessibility map is similarly disheartening anywhere in LA, unless you’re downtown.

Coda | BerlinLaura is a movie star.

Coda | Berlin
Laura is a movie star.

The Kreuzberg Piano Man we were stalking today is a local legend — just as I suspected.

Photo by the talented Birgit Meixner.


Bergmannstraße. Where you can park your piano in front of a “no parking” sign and smoke a cigarette.

Later, we watched him push his piano up the street in 94° weather. I should have helped.

More kings should make their proclamations in this manner. My favorite piece in Berlin’s Bode Museum.

Göbenstrasse 6 in Der Himmel über Berlin (1987)

Watched it tonight with Laura. At an hour when we’re accustomed to being connected via intangible video chat, instead she sat with me on the sofa. Bliss.

Berlin illustrations by Cristóbal Schmal

The building on the bottom left is where you’ll find me every May for TYPO Berlin. It’s also where I met my love.

Wilmersdorferstraße Mandeln, the best christkindlesmarkt booth in Berlin. Let’s see what treasures Quedlinburg and Wernigerode hold.

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